(Original post by Sharpshooter)
How competitive is it to become an orthodontist in this country?
Is it the equivalent of surgery in medicine, i.e. the most competitive specialised area in dentistry?
What would you need to do to become one, be in the top 3-4 in your class, have loads of work experiance, have a good reference that sort of thing??
Ok well firstly you need to become a dentist. Which is hard enough.
After that, you'll usually need to do a 3 year long (full time) course which will give you an MOrth/MSc/MClinDent Qualificaion. This will allow you to sign onto the specialist orthodontist register. However, given the correct training, any dentist can do orthodontic work without becoming specialist. Alot of General practise dentists these days are becoming skilled with invisilign. However, the most complex cases are probably still best refferred away to the specialists in most cases. Especially when extractions might be needed.
There are loads of universities which offer these qualifications
and the course is expensive (3,000-10,000 per annum) and pretty competative. I think you normally need some GDP experience before applying too. Around 3 years if i remember correctly. You'll also need to make a formal application and attend an interview.
It probably isn't THE most competative speciality, but it's certainly up there among restorative and endodontics.
You'll need good references, probably evidence of some of the work you've done. You'll also have to show a forward thinking and proactive interest in the field of orthodontics. You'll learn alot more about it at university. It's very impressive that you're thinking about it now though, it's nice to see a proactive attitude. I'm sure you'll go far. When you're in dental school, if you make your tutors aware that you are aiming for ortho then they'll be able to help you no end. And you'll probably come across some leturers who are specialists in orthodontics. Talk to them and make contacts. It will all help you towards your goal. However, having said that you might change your mind when you get to university and decide that you love doing restorations...or perhaps oral surgery!
"UK has one of the lowest ratios of orthodontists per head of population in Europe and the number of specialists being registered in the UK each year is not sufficient to keep pace with retirements of senior colleagues, without beginning to address the disparity with our European colleagues."
Right so maybe not as competitive as we thought or at least not impossible as long as you are capable and work hard?
What I like about dentistry is that most of specialisms aren't as long as some of those in medicine, which is surely an advantage for somebody who is looking to enter as a mature student.